The conviction of five members of this family was reported here Saturday
. The previous slavery trial was reported here in July
At this time, the attention of the world is understandably focused on the terrible events in Connecticut which resulted in one mentally deranged individual taking so many young lives and destroying many more. Insanity is a pathetic excuse for the crimes of Adam Lanza, but the Connors family don't have even that. They preyed on vulnerable men, those who most of us go out of our way to avoid, or who we would rather not think about. Men who have drink and other problems, who unlike young kids are not cute, attractive, endearing, or a host of other adjectives.
Fortunately, the law does not judge us by our looks, our habits, our health or our personal hygiene. Today, the city of Bristol is a quaint West Country tourist destination
, but one with a murky past, its port played a pivotal role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade
. It is fitting therefore that a family that practised slavery, and that held men in forced labour, should be held to account for their crimes here.
They were due to be sentenced on Monday, but this was delayed in order to allow the defence to put forward mitigation, such as there can be in a case of this nature. It can now be reported that the five have been sentenced
to a total of 18 years behind bars, not 18 years each, unfortunately.
Fifty-one year old William Connors received the longest sentence, of six and a half years, his wife Breda was given two years, their son John, four years, and two others three years, one of them in a young offenders' institution.
Hopefully we will hear no more of this odious family and certainly no more of slavery, at least not in England, the country in which it was said four centuries and more ago that the air is "too pure" for a slave to breathe.